All drawings are in in charcoal and sanguine (except for this first one, only charcoal) on paper,190g/m², 42×59,4 cm (16,5×23,4″) All the poses are about 15 – 20 minutes long.
Then the model showed up, with a huge black dog. With no inhibitions, he took off his clothes, dropped them in a bundle right there and then immediately swooned into this pose. Our goal was to work with foreshortening and use 2 or 3 mediums to push back dark shadows in order to give “life” and depth to a foreshortening pose. In this postion the model’s head couldn’t be seen by me and his right hand disappeared completely under his left leg(sticking out above the left foot) making it look as if is his foot is growing from his arm. I struggled with that portion of the body.
In this second pose, it seems like his arms are miles long…he is a very tall, slender model with broad shoulders and I had difficulties keeping the relationships in balance. His head was in reality crunched lower between his knees, which I didn’t capture close enough to convey the “tightly crunched and taut” feeling of the body.
I could’ve done so much more with this drawing. The body feels flat without the typical bigger ribcage of the male body in and the slim hips and I didn’t succeed in capturing the complete relaxed surrender of the model. My foreshortening could have been much more pronounced as well….I was too scared to really go for it. Pity… this was a great pose, very challenging.
This was the last pose of the evening and it completely lacks energy, even though it is a very static one. What I did get though, was huge feet! The left side of his body needed much more drop in the shoulder as well as the hip and I could do better with the muscular play in the shoulders and of course…the arms!! The model was really wonderful, he moved into each pose with conviction and grace and wonderful confidence.
Postmortem: I enjoyed doing this.
The body gives fascinating poses with foreshortening.
I’ve learnt that caution doesn’t get you anywhere closer to success. Thus, my fear of overdoing the foreshortening didn’t result in anything better than had I gone for the extreme.
I’ve learnt that good darks is essential in giving depth and dimension to any drawing.
In foreshortening poses, it is essential to forget that you’re dealing with a body, because the lines and masses and values don’t always make sense. Draw what you see.
I’ve learnt to get some distance from my paper in order to get more energy into my drawing. By standing a bit further away, by holding the charcoal looser, working with arm movements, stepping away from the drawing often, loostening up the shoulders often, staying away from looking at details…all result in getting energy and movement on to the paper instead of keeping it locked up in the upper body. It’s a bit like playing a good tennis shot!
Now I only hope that I WILL learn what I’ve learnt!
More exciting recent figure drawing sketches from CathyG, Casey, Dee, Marta, Jana, (oil paints) Martin, Scott Burdick, Joe Delaney, Anne Delplace (whose work I adore for its vitality and risks and expressions!). There are many more of which I’m sure I have somewhere left out or haven’t seen…let me know and I’ll add it for us all to see and enjoy.